Posted by Will Brinson
As we noted earlier, this IS preseason football, so there's only so much we can hope for. That being said, the first couple of series were still pretty revealing for Bengals and Cowboys fans in the first quarter of kind-of-real-but-still-fake football action, which ended with the Cowboys leading 3-0.
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Doug Free, whose blocking skills the Cowboys plan to hang much of their offensive success on this season, looked both sharp and strong, keeping Tony Romo free in the pocket and opening up holes for Marion Barber and Felix Jones.
Of course, Jones fumbled on the one-yard line on the Cowboys' first possession, which is indicative of a few things. One, the Cowboys aren't totally against letting the beefed-up Jones carry the ball in the red zone. But, more importantly: two, Jones might not be cut out for it. Obviously making a snap judgment on one preseason series isn't entirely safe, but if the Cowboys are going to give him run during the preseason as a red zone back, he can't be putting the ball on the ground, or else he won't get shots at it in the regular season.
Antwan Odom was briefly on the ground, terrifying Cincy fans everywhere. Fortunately, it was just a "poked eye."
Terrell Owens was targeted by Carson Palmer. A LOT. But Palmer only went 2/5 for 18 yards (both completions to Owens) while getting sacked once by Stephen Bowen, and pressured a few other times. There's no real need to look at the Bengals' first-teamers and think they're suddenly going to be a pass-first offense, though.
On the next-to-last play of the first quarter, Jon Kitna fumbled -- although Dallas recovered -- on a sack by Jonathan Fanene. The bigger problem is the fumble was caused because Alex Barron did a poor job of blocking (well, the bigger problem for Dallas anyway) on the play. Free's looking pretty good to hold down his line spot.
Tony Romo went 5/10 for 59 yards on the 'Boys first drive, and the numbers might have looked a little cleaner were it not for some "meh" playcalling in the red zone following Jones' fumble.
What were your thoughts?
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